Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has described the phase one of infrastructure projects donated to the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State by The Shell Petroleum Deveopment Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and its joint venture partners as a great enhancer of learning and research.
Okowa spoke last week at the opening of a 220-capacity set of auditoriums, eight lecture rooms, one e-classroom and 14 staff offices forming part of the many projects that the SPDC JV planned for the three-year-old specialised institution set up in response to the information and technology revolution in the global maritime industry, an area Nigeria looks at for developing more professionals for its blue economy ambition.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, Okowa charged other oil companies and businesses particularly those in the maritime sector to emulate the gesture of the SPDC JV in helping Nigeria develop future talent of maritime professionals. ‘Insfrastructure such as what Shell and its partners have provided and still plan to provide forms the bedrock of meanful learning, teaching and research that can stand our institutions out in global ranking while helping the university to overcome the chronic shortage in infrastructure.”
Presenting the projects to the university community on behalf of the SPDC JV, Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said the projects were fully equipped with requisite furniture and equipment and that a solar-powered potable water system had also been provided to support the facilities and the university community at large.
Okunbor was represented at the virtual project-opening ceremony by SPDC Country Head, Corporate Relations, Mr. Igo Weli. Speaking on the criteria for selecting the SPDC-JV supported projects, Okunbor said: “Our focus is on projects considered as very important to the success of the nascent and premier maritime university in Nigeria.”
Okunbor said, “As part of our social investment initiatives, the SPDC JV comprising NNPC, TEPNG and Agip, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the university in 2019 to develop critical facilities needing immediate attention for a smooth take-off. We are happy with the progress we have made.”
Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the investment arm of NNPC, Mr Bala Wunti, who was represented by NAPIMS Deputy Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Edith Bunmi Lawson, said, “NNPC is an avid believer in investing and touching the lives of all Nigerians and the environment. We will continue to support our JV operating partner, SPDC, to intervene in critical areas in infrastructure, health and education where we can make a difference and spread the benefit of our investments to all Nigerians.”
Wunti enjoined the university community to put this facility to the best use in a sustainable manner.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Adigio, said, “The structures donated will relieve the university of a lot of stress, especially in the Faculty of Engineering where we now have choices of classrooms and even offices. The projects are a real plus to the university and will promote a healthy and comfortable learning environment. We appreciate what SPDC and its partners have done.”